SRE in Schools

Volunteers from Grace Church teach Special Religious Education in our local community schools using a curriculum provided by Youthworks. Click here to see more information on the Youthworks Authorised Curriculum


What is SRE?

Special Religious Education (SRE) is education in the distinct beliefs and practices of an approved religious persuasion. In SRE classes, students are able to learn and question how beliefs impact their lives. Working closely with the Department of Education to ensure the curriculum is appropriate within context, SRE is taught by authorised representatives of approved religious providers who have been trained and given resources to teach students whose parents would like them to participate in these classes. 

SRE is available to any student regardless of whether they or their families attend a church or not. Even if they are not religious, some parents believe the principles their children can learn in SRE are a good stepping-stone to becoming a productive member of society. Parents can request that their child attend SRE classes and can withdraw them from classes as they wish. 


SRE Teachers must be both Authorised and Accredited

  • Becoming an Authorised SRE Teacher

In order to be an authorised as SRE Teacher, a person must approved by the senior minister or leader of the providing church or religious organisation and approved to represent them in the schools. The senior minister or leader has to ensure that the person they have authorised to teach SRE in schools have satisfied the following criteria: 


·      Having obtained a current Working With Children Check that is valid for 5 years

·      Having completed Child Protection Training before they begin working as an SRE teacher

·      Having signed a declaration that they are not a person prohibited from undertaking child-related employment

·      Having no criminal conviction for crimes against minors, sexual assault, violent crimes or providing illegal drugs. 

  • Becoming an Accredited SRE Teacher

For accreditation to teach SRE in government schools, the person must undergo and complete a course that will equip the teacher in theology and in the effective practice of teaching.  In order to be an accredited SRE Teacher each SRE Teacher will have successfully completed five training modules as well as be assessed in teaching by a qualified observer. 

All Volunteer SRE teachers approved by Grace Church Port Macquarie must be registered, authorised, accredited and approved. The following training is required for Accreditation – meaning the ability to competently teach the required subject in a department of education setting:


- 10 hours of Youthworks training are to be completed by anyone involved in SRE through  Grace Church. 

            -  Four 2hr training modules. 

            -  One 2hr biblical foundations model plus pre-reading. 


Training Modules for SRE Teachers

High School and Primary SRE have the same accreditation requirements and run equivalent courses, but the content of the courses are context-specific. Teachers can complete the Primary SRE Accreditation training OR the High School SRE Accreditation Training and will be qualified to teach both primary and high school SRE.

In order to attain accreditation, each SRE teacher must complete the SRE Theory and Practice modules for Primary or High School SRE.

Module 1: Understanding Our Ministry Context – SRE Foundations (2 hrs)

This module considers how biblical principles shape the way SRE is taught. The module introduces the big picture of teaching SRE through five contexts: the biblical, legislative, school, family and church context.

Module 2 Primary: Understanding the Developing Child (2 hrs)

This module explores the physical, mental and spiritual development of children, to how children think and learn, and the influence of culture, media and family.

Module 2 Secondary: Engaging students in their understanding of God (2 hrs)

This module explores how the physical, mental, and spiritual development of students influences their understanding of God. It explores how to encourage students to engage with spiritual questions in light of the way they learn, and the influence of culture, media and the family. 

Module 3: Preparing and Delivering the Lesson (2 hrs)

This module explores the basics of preparing and delivering a lesson, and introduces participants to the curriculum and how to use it effectively. Participants will also consider different teaching and learning styles, and how to ask and answer questions.

Module 4: Group Management (2 hrs)

This module helps participants explore the biblical background of discipline, and consider various strategies for appropriate and effective management of children to ensure that quality teaching and learning occurs.

Module 5: Bible Foundations (2 hrs + reading)

This module equips teachers with a theological foundation that will help them articulate the whole biblical message of God and humanity. This module requires that participants read Vaughan Roberts' book, God’s Big Picture prior to attending the module. The module will discuss the key themes of the book and apply them to the context of teaching children.



In addition to accreditation, approval will not be given unless a person has a valid Working With Children Check and has undergone Child Protection Training that is currently valid 

Child Protection Training

Safe Working With Children Training 

Competency: CHCPRT001-Identify and Respond to Children and Young People At Risk

Teaching by Joan Maddison  -  Current TAFE lecturer for Child Protection and Trauma Informed Care.  (please contact church office for further information)

- AND -

The Compulsory Reading and Signing of Grace Church Port Macquarie’s Child Safe Policy

The Curriculum

Our SRE Teachers use the Connect program by Christian Education Publications in the public schools 


Please note: The 2018 revised versions of B1, Beginning with GodBig Questions, and A Cycle are the only authorised SRE curriculum for public schools. B2 and C Cycle are being revised, and will be authorised and released in time for each semester.


Connect is a three-year Religious Education curriculum designed for use in schools in Australia and New Zealand.

It is Bible-based and offers 20 lessons each semester at Infants (ages 5 to 7), Lower Primary (ages 7 to 9) and Upper Primary (ages 10 to 12) levels.

In each lesson students engage with the truths of the Bible week by week through music, drama, reading and writing, puzzle solving, drawing, and asking questions.

The three-year cycle of Connectlessons cover a wide range of Bible teaching from creation to God’s ultimate purpose for humanity. Lessons introduce key biblical concepts, themes and major characters such as Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus in an active and engaging way, allowing students to explore the Christian faith and see how it is relevant today. The curriculum also encourages students to discover for themselves what the Bible says about the contemporary problems people face in today’s world.

Included in the curriculum are teachings on the key events of Easter and Christmas as well as special lessons dealing with major issues that children face, including self-esteem, loss, caring for the environment, and coping with change.

View the Connectscope and sequence

Click here to view for samples of the Connect curriculum (will take you to the CepConnect.com.au website)